As public servants, we work tirelessly all week and only have the weekend to relax. In as much as I don’t discourage attending all night sessions or praying at night, it is good we get our priorities right and understand the basic principles of praying at night. People mostly ask, “Is waking up and praying at say 12 midnight or after the best time God hears and answer our prayers?”
God hears the cry of the poor. It takes purity of heart to see God. The Lord is close to the broken hearted. These and others answer the prayers God hears. The YES of God at day will never become NO at night. Again, the night is as clear as the day for the Lord; with Him, night and day are the same (Psalm 139:12).
God is all powerful at all times and moments. Space and time has no control over the power of Gòd or the expression of His love.
Let me give some interesting observations. Among all the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc), only Jacob is recorded as praying at night and these occurred only twice in his life: when leaving the family at Cana to Laban’s house and when returning from Laban. The first was even a dream and not a night prayer as such.
Among the kings, only Solomon is mentioned as having a night encounter, and this was a dream and not prayer time. None of the prophets has a recorded of praying at night.
In the New Testament, we know Jesus prayed at night, the Apostles and the early Church did same. Note that they didn’t sleep in order to wake up and pray at midnight. Rather, they prayed and the session entered into the night.
But people prayed at night and there was nothing wrong with that. Several reasons motivate the praying at night:
1. We are to pray without ceasing, and night is included in that direction.
2. Time: people are occupied with active responsibilities during the day and can only get time to be with the Lord at night. Jesus mostly prayed at night and early dawn because He was mostly occupied at day.
3. Spirituality: Some believe they can get answers at night better than during the day. I see nothing wrong with them because God encounters us differently and variously. Some met God in noise and others in silence, some on their knees and others while standing, some on the mountains and others in the lowland or seas, some at day and others at night. God responds to our schedules and mindset, especially when it doesn’t contradict love of Him and of neighbour.
4. Weather: The night is quiet, conducive, without much interruptions and distractions. These motivate and propel prayer; hence, some pray at night.
1. Demons don’t only work at night. Psalm 91 mentions the arrows that fly by day and the plague that ravages at noon (Psalm 91:5b, 6b). In fact, many of us don’t pray at siesta and nothing happens to us because we have not admitted demonic works at day. Can’t we do same for our night .
- God is not less powerful at day. Almost 90% of Biblical miracles, Old and New Testaments, happened in the day. God remains same and He works same even in our days. Let me hasten to add that few miracles occurred at night because most activities and ministry occurred during the day.
Time zones differ from place to place. My night is someone’s dawn, noon or evening. Night is not experienced at the same time by all people.
Finally, interestingly, God is available 24/7 with His complete power, love and care. Any moment of prayer is a powerful moment. Time of the day is not too relevant. Let me restate that: the night is as clear as the day for the Lord; with Him, night and day are the same (Psalm 91:12). God bless you.
Authored by Rev Fr Joseph Nyarko Asare of Obuasi Catholic Diocese